Weber 22.5 Silver Charcoal Grill - Not getting hot enough.

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by mike65, Nov 28, 2014.

  1. mike65

    mike65 Meat Mopper

    Hello All -

    I used my 22.5 Weber Charcoal Grill on Thanksgiving to smoke my Spatched 15lb Turkey.  The problem I was having it took 3 hours to reach 180 and it didn't reach 200 until the 4Th hour.  By this time the Turkey was only 101 degrees. I removed the Turkey from the Weber and placed it in Roaster. Question I have is why would it not come up to 200 and over?  I was using Kingsford Charcoal ( Blue ) and made a wick in the bottom of the Weber.  Any ideas and suggestions would be helpful.


  2. coryb

    coryb Fire Starter

    What's a 'wick'?
  3. welshrarebit

    welshrarebit Master of the Pit

    I fire up my kettle with half a chimney of KBB and it will get right up to 280 no problems...

    I use one charcoal basket and put about 20 brickettes unlit in there. That will go for about three hours without reloading.

    Last edited: Nov 28, 2014
  4. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    Yeah, what is a wick? Was the charcoal wet? Did you have the air vents open? More details please. We can't help you if we have no details on what you did and why you thought you needed a wick.
  5. mike65

    mike65 Meat Mopper

    The   " Wick "      The 2 small circles represent the 2 layers of Charcoals.  The red heart represents the turkey.  The larger circle represent the Smoker.

  6. mike65

    mike65 Meat Mopper

    No, the charcoals were not wet.  Yes both the top and bottom vents were open all the way.
  7. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    So your wick was unlit charcoal, correct? And how did you light your wick?

    Usually you need to start with at least half a chimney of lit charcoal, then go from there. if you are only lighting a small amount of charcoal and it then burns slowly in a circle you wont have enough lit at any one time to get up to temp.
  8. It takes fuel and air to make heat. You said you had the air wide open. That leaves fuel. You have to start with more lite. You will probably have to add more to your wick. 

    Happy smoken.

  9. How are you checking your temp? It could be that you are hotter than you think.

    Happy smoken.

  10. mike65

    mike65 Meat Mopper

    Yes the wick is unlit until I use the Charcoal Lighter Fluid.  I pour on the Lighter Fluid on the 1st four unlit charcoals.. I keep the cover off the smoker until I see the 4 lit charcoals turn white, then place the cover on. As the charcoals get used up, the " Wick works it's way around.  I use a Thermometer in the lid to check the inside temp and use a Digital Probe in the meat I'm using.
  11. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Yeah, WAAAAAY too little hot starter coals Mike65.  15-20 would be more like it. 

    If you have a Home Depot close to you go pick up one of the little chimneys they sell for about $10 (they have two sizes) to get your starter coals going without the fluid.  Before I started using the side burner on my gas grill to light my chimney I'd use torn up brown paper grocery bags as chimney starter.   They make a lot of ash but no more than say newspaper. 
  12. mike65

    mike65 Meat Mopper

    Ok.. So I already have a Charcoal Starter, I thought if I used that it would get to hot and make the meat rubbery. 

  13. jckdanls 07

    jckdanls 07 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    ok.. try it this way... instead of the snake method use the minion method... pile unlit charcoal to one side with wood chunks mixed all throughout... put about a dozen briquettes in the chimney and light with paper underneath... let them burn until about half lit (not red hot).... dump them at one end of the pile in the kettle... put lid on and leave both vents wide open... when it starts to get close to temps wanted close down the INTAKE vent to about a quarter open... it will take about 15 minutes to level off.... then adjust intake vent accordingly to get your desired temp... always leave top vent wide open (if possible)... If you have to close the intake vent all the way and temps still keep rising then there must be air leaking in somewhere... it may be necessary then to start closing the exhaust vent.... it will take 10-20 minutes after vent adjustments to see results....

    The kettle works really well... this method works excellent for me... most times the intake is almost closed (1/8-1/4 of an inch open).... give this a try and see how it works....

    Here.. look through some of Cliff' Carter's pictures.. he has exactly what I'm talking about...
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2014
  14. It would help if you stated EXACTLY where the end of your thermo probe extended to. Center of kettle? 1" from the grate? 2" from the grate? Off to one side?

    There are different heat zones in these kettles, so you have to know what you're measuring based on the probe location. I have a Brinkmann thermo with a 2" probe installed in the lid of my 18.5" OTS about 2" above the lip of the lid directly under the exhaust ports. I normally use the kettle as a smoker so the coals are banked on one side behind two firebricks foiled together end-to-end to create a barrier. I know that it will read about 30F higher if I rotate its location 90 degrees, and another 30F higher if rotated 180 degrees from the original location, i.e. directly above the coal bed.

    Here's I pic of my thermo:

    Here's a pic of the offset coal bed setup:

    Note that there are significant temperature variances in the vertical plane as well, some as high as 50F+.
  15. The question you started out with was not getting hot. Now your thinking this will get to hot. Rubbery skin is caused by not enough heat. The way you get more heat is to have more fuel burning. You need to take the time to learn how to control your kettle. It doesn't much matter how you get you fuel started. It is going to take some playing with to figure it out. Go buy some chicken and start playing with it. Chicken is cheap and will take wild temp swings and still be tasty.

    Happy smoken.

  16. mike65

    mike65 Meat Mopper

    Thanks David. Your right, chicken is cheap and is a good meat to practice temps with. When I use the Weber to smoke a 5-7lb Pork Butt it comes out great. Must be because it's in the smoker longer at 180
  17. mike65

    mike65 Meat Mopper

  18. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    Might I recommend these Weber baskets. I use them with great results for both direct and indirect grilling and smoking. They are the bomb and in my opinion a must in these one touch kettles. Makes it easy and foolproof. Especially paired with the hinged grates that Weber sells which you may already have. I get anywhere from 5 to 9 hours per load depending on the temp I am smoking at. Well worth it in my opinion. You can use one or both, move them around, very useful. Drop a couple of lit coals from your chimney starter in each one and cook away. I hate the taste of lighter fluid. I gave that up years ago.
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2014
    remmy700p likes this.
  19. mike65

    mike65 Meat Mopper


    How many coals do those baskets hold?
  20. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    Never have counted but like I said up to 9 hours smoke time on one load. They increase efficiency over the method you are using immensely. Very very worth it. Makes keeping your grill ash free much easier too. My performer came with the hinged grates and baskets. So glad I got them. I bet I use half the charcoal I used to use.

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